WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed economist Phillip Jefferson at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors late Wednesday, the latest addition to the panel after delays and setbacks for some Candidates for President Joe Biden.
Jefferson becomes the fourth black man to serve on the Fed board, and he will join Lisa Cook, the first black woman at the Fed in its 108-year history. It was confirmed earlier this week.
Senators confirmed Jefferson on a 91-7 vote, without the partisan debates that erupted over some of Biden’s other picks.
The seven-member panel is filling up as the Fed battles the worst inflation in four decades. Last week, the central bank raised its short-term interest rate by half a percentage point, double its usual increase.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who is in a temporary role after his term ended in February, is also set to receive confirmation. He signaled that similar big hikes are likely at his June or July meetings.
Jefferson, a former Fed researcher who served as dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina, has been appointed to a 14-year term on the Fed’s Board of Governors.
Along with Cook and Jefferson, the Senate confirmed Lael Brainard as the influential Vice Chairman of the Fed two weeks ago.
But another Biden pick, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew his candidacy after a key Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined all Senate Republicans in opposing his confirmation.
Republicans had argued that Raskin would use the Fed’s regulatory authority to discourage banks from lending to oil and gas companies.
Most economists expect the Fed to continue raising rates even if new members like Cook and Jefferson join the board, given the high level of inflation.
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